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Vandals trash foreshore

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POLICE are investigating an incident that occurred on the evening of Wednesday, January 4, 2023, in Airlie Beach.

Extensive damage was caused to a council Christmas tree and also a public toilet block on the foreshore, sometime between 8pm, on January 4, and 5am on January 5.

Police believe three people are responsible – including two males and possibly a female – and they appear to be aged about 15 or 16 in footage posted online.

No arrests have been made yet and police are still continuing with investigations.

If caught, they will be charged with wilful damage, after ripping a light out and causing damage to the walls of the toilet block.

They also broke Christmas tree ornaments and scattered them everywhere.

Division 1 Councillor Jan Clifford said she was ‘really angry’ and said it was ‘disgusting’ what the vandals had done.

“There’s just no consequences, but there will be this time because I’m not having it,” Cr Clifford said.

“There are payments to pick up – the electrician doesn’t come cheap.

“Parks and gardens had to clean up and make sure there were no bits of broken glass in the grass.

“I have got all the costs being worked out at the moment – the footpath cleaner and Parks & Gardens.

“If the courts won’t do anything about these kids, I’m going to sue their parents

“If they’re not going to be dealt with by the courts, I will sort them civilly and see how that is.

“We don’t have this sh**t here…I am sick of it and there will be consequences.

“I have been speaking to Whitsunday police and the detectives are also involved.”

Local residents were also outraged, with many taking to Facebook to voice their displeasure.

Jasmin Reynolds said: This is disgusting and so sad that people feel the need to do stuff like this.

Peter Hutchings said it ‘seemed to be a progressing problem in Airlie’.

“Only a few weeks ago, every tree at Coral Sea Marina was attacked as well,” Mr Hutchings said.

Simon Baker, meanwhile, said there was ‘no deterrent’.

“There is no deterrent, no accountability for anything these days,” he said. “Bring back summary offences, publish names and photos, so we all know who they are.”

Anyone with any information should contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Whitsunday Police Station.

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